Yemeni Revolution and Its Third Anniversary

Yemen has reached its 3rd anniversary of the Yemeni uprising. Today not only makes me happy to the see the masses of people out in the streets remembering this day, but it gives my heart warmth to see that people are still awake even after three years of political roller-coasters and constant worry about their future.

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The masses of people who stood up against the wrongdoings of their government shows the power and resilience of our Yemeni people. We have been through three decades of dictatorship, corruption and unfair treatment by the central system. We have been told  empty promises by our ex-president. Instead of giving us the opportunity to build our lives, he had took away our dreams. Instead of giving us hope, he gave us sorrows. Instead of understanding us and our complaints, he continued to steal our lands and income. Instead of being happy with our president, he made us overthrow him.

Three years later, the people of Yemen show no sign of giving up. Hundreds of martyrs later, people are awake and ready to take the streets again if for any reason they have to. This is the country known to be heavily weaponized. This is the country that holds the most peaceful people, too! Although Yemen holds about 73 million pieces of guns, the people of Yemen would rather use their voices as a weapon to terrify and shake the core of the government.

May this day be the remembrance of not only a life changing historic event, but a remembrance of what the people died for. Our people didn’t die just because they wanted to. Our people died because they believed in something more: change for the better of their countrymen and women. They carry a legacy and our job is to carry on that legacy and do our best to implement their visions for a better homeland for the rest of us. This is our duty for those who died and for the new generations to come.

Here’s a poem I wrote (which was previously posted):

I give you a rose and you respond by shooting me down with a bullet.
I give you a smile and you respond with tear gas.
I stand in front of you and your army and you respond with a water canister.
I sit down peacefully in my protesting square and you respond with live ammunition from tanks. 
I shout a revolutionary slogan and you respond with a stick. 
I’ve responded with tears, silent tears. But you then respond with torture.
My response is peaceful…yours was brutal.
I’m a revolutionary.

I’m a Revolutionary

A little short poem I typed up after watching a Bahrain protest(s) on Youtube:

I give you a rose and you respond by shooting me with a bullet.
I give you a smile and you respond with tear gas.
I stand in front of you and your army and you respond with a water canister.
I sit down peacefully in my protesting square and you respond with live ammunition from tanks. 
I shout a revolutionary slogan and you respond with a stick. 
I’ve responded with tears, silent tears. But you then respond with torture.
My response is peaceful…yours was brutal.
I’m a revolutionary.

How the Yemeni Revolution Changed My Life

Usually, I blog about the political situation in Yemen. Information, after information. Useful for many, even for myself. Today, I’m writing on something away from the political situation, rather what it did for me. What the Yemeni revolution made me realize, and how it changed my life.

Before the revolution, Yemen was something far from my thoughts even though I went every Summer, since I was twelve years old. It was just a typical country that I had no choice but to visit. Every time we would land, I would take out my iPod and go through the calendar and count how many days left until I leave, back to New York. Usually, I would enjoy myself maybe for the first two weeks with my cousins. After that, it was really boring. I bet you all think that I did nothing but stay home! No, I toured around, shopped, ate at restaurants and went to beaches. I lived it-well, whenever I use to tell people thats what they used to tell me. Every year, I would go back to Yemen and it would be the same actions all over again: go through the calendar, count the days of departure back to New York. I laugh now, looking back at my actions.

Once I hit fifteen, I thought one day and looked at myself in the mirror, IN Yemen and said, “I want to do something different, maybe one day I can have a dream and accomplish it…hopefully soon.” I would have never thought it would be about Yemen though. Never in my mind, because like I said before, Yemen wasn’t in my thoughts. My parents used to always tell me, “Yemen will be your favorite destination one day; whether going because you have a vacation or maybe even for business in the future.”

I laughed and as a silly fifteen year old I told them, “Yeah right! Never would that happen.” As the months went by, I started liking Yemen, but I kept it within me because I knew if I said something, I would have looked dumb, but not to anyone around me, but to myself. I started to download Yemeni music, called my cousins, and I even watched Yemeni dancing on Youtube whenever I had free time on my hand. Still, I kept this top secret at the time.

Once I hit sixteen years old, I didn’t have any problems going to Yemen. Once I land, I stopped going through the “calendar” and stopped wishing the days would go by quickly. Still, I felt like something was missing when I went. I felt like I was wasting my precious time doing nothing. Well, not nothing but just having too much fun! There was something more, that I wished to do but I couldn’t put my finger on it. It was a rather annoying feeling. As the months passed by, something amazing happened. And, this of course was the Yemeni revolution. I sat on my couch watching CNN and Al-Jazeera feeling like crap knowing I’m not there at such a historical time. Damn, I felt like a bum. As two months pass, I courageously asked my father if I can go with him in the month of April, and of course he was more than happy to say yes. Any who, I arrived, went through the daily struggles that millions went through.

Then, all of a sudden, I just felt like…this was it. My calling! I wanted to write about the revolution. It grew, made a twitter and made myself rooted in the grounds of Yemen. I had a drive, and a goal. This goal was to serve my people. Fast forward a few months after I came back to New York and I was back in Yemen. I finally turned seventeen on the 3rd of August. I started writing more posts, articles and doing the best I could. I stopped my teenage life for the 26 million people that have to struggle and sacrifice a lot. I stopped looking at things the way many people my age do. I missed out on many things. Usually friends would tell me, “Do you want to go out?” My answer: “I can’t, I have to write an article.” Some people I knew took it as a joke, but I didn’t mind. It was what I wanted to do. My life took a 360, and I all of sudden dropped my fun time to serious time. It gave me a sense of value. Until this day, some people say ‘slow down!’ Heck, even some of my teachers used to tell me to leave Yemen and focus. But it’s all about sacrifice and honest to God, I don’t mind the sacrifice if it makes me feel like my time is not wasted.

People started re-imaging Summer Nasser, even though they said I was a “wise one.” I’m caught up in anything related to Yemen. Although sometimes, things might be overwhelming, now being a senior in high school but I get the job done. I would do anything in the world to see 26 million people happy. I would write and speak in every conference or any event if I had to. Nothing stops me, even if the people around me look at me like I’m not a regular 17 year old. I found my meaning to my day to day life. Something thats worth it too! My dreams led me to accomplishments, and for my age, I have seen and did many things that people twice the age of me do. But, wait. Summer isn’t stopping after Yemen is a new Yemen. I want to do so much for this world. So, you won’t stop seeing my tweets or my blog posts! Remember, always depend on yourself, because you will get yourself to the place you want to be in.

P.S: Don’t doubt people because of their age. You just may never know, how wise and responsible they are.

GCC: The Peoples Opinions on Initiative

Recently, The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative has been agreed upon, by the Yemeni Regime and the opposition in Yemen. Read here: UN Yemen envoy says parties agree to transition plan and has officially been signed today! Read here: Yemen’s Saleh signs deal handing over power

What does this mean now since Ali Abdullah Saleh signed today?

1. Saleh will issue a presidential decree assigning the Vice President with all the tasks of the President, and Saleh will remain an honorary President until electing a new president.
2.The Vice President will call for an early Presidential Elections within two months, while he remains holding the Presidents tasks for two years during the transitional period.
3.During the two months period, the army will be restructured and the Presidents family will be removed from their positions and a consensus government will be formed to run the elections.

Majority of Yemenis are against this initiative for one main reason: Immunity for Saleh and his family members. In other words, he will walk away as a free man. So what are the peoples thoughts on this initiative?

Mufid Hizam, a Yemeni living in New York says: “I’m not in favor with the GCC’s initiative for simple reasons: it failed to detect the real grievances that led to the current turmoil and therefore wasn’t able prescribe the right solutions. Second, it provides immunity to the regime, not only for crimes that have been committed in the past, but also for others to be committed in the future. it didn’t set any time frame, therefore left the regime with a huge space to maneuver and continue with its plans of committing more crimes and eradicating more of the regime adversaries. Hence, in providing such immunity, it contradict the international law, which states clearly that no immunity is to be given to anyone with criminal record.”

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Ahmed Al-Qarda’ei, a Yemeni living in Sanaa says: “I don’t see the GCC initiative as a big deal. Either the opposition signs it or not, blood will be shed.”

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@samwaddah says: “I am totally against the GCC initiative because it’s not what Yemeni’s revolted for! It’s a ‘save Saleh deal’ not a ‘save Yemen deal'”

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@Only_OneGod says: “The GCC initiative is an attempt to thwart the revolution by making fake changes that don’t change anything and calm people’s zeal!”

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@ExpressYemeni says: “I’m against the GCC initiative, for it does not hold true to aspirations, hopes, desires and dreams of the revolutionaries.”

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@wayneworden says: “The GCC is trying to resolve the Saleh problem, but resolution authority must be with the people – not diplomats.”

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@shabadel says: ” The GCC was all in favor of Saleh to save him. It was specially designed for him and changed many times to please him.”

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@RawanWS says: ” Over the past 10 months I’ve watched Saleh mercilessly murdered hundreds, two of whom I knew personally. It lead me to feel as if the GCC initiative is the only way to be rid of Saleh without losing another life. While we do run the risk of granting him immunity, we must remember that he is not immortal nor is he divine, he will be put on trial and justice will be served one way or another. I want to see Yemen move on from this infinite cycle that we have thrown ourselves into and start to rebuild Yemen into the golden country it can be.”

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Khadigeh Ali Saleh, says: “What they care about is to have their name in the history of Yemen as the ‘savers’ who saved Yemen from getting into war. I hate them and hate how they supposed stupid head Ali Abdullah Saleh!!”

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Maged Almawri, a Yemeni living in the United States says: “I believe the GCC initiative is at least an acknowledgement from the Ruling Party, President, The Gulf Countries and the whole world that this regime has to be changed. I am one of the youth of Yemen who want to see the whole regime Collapse, but the truth is that this regime has been rooted very deep in the country, so it has to be taken out very carefully over the coming years. I hope this initiative would probably save thousands of Yemeni lives if it succeeded. It also gives hope to the everyday Yemeni people who are getting tired of the revolution. Let’s keep working in parallel paths, the youth have their revolution and the GCC initiative keeps going until we see what happens. Revolutions do take years to have results and it is the Yemeni Youth who need to carry it on.”

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Fuad Al-Hothefy, says: ” The GCC initiative is not our goal, so we have a plan and we did not go to street in order to achive such initiative , we have greet project we are the futer of yemen, so we can not work in 2 ways parallel, we only have one way. We are from change square and we know who we are and we know what we want, so parties please play away ……Yemen is free”

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Ibraheem Al-Anse, a Yemeni living in New York says: ” I think it’s a waste of time. Look, the youth are not part of it. Tribes are not part of it.. So all are not In favor and the initiative must be ended! Not by giving immunity to a killer! So we should rally against it and be with youth and with the majority of the yemeni people.”

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Mohammed Al-Sabri, says (Arabic):” هذه المبادة لا تخص شباب الثورة وليس فيها من يفاوض بإسم شباب الثورة نحن لدينا اهداف معلنه من بداية الثورة واضحه للجميع وسيبقى الشباب في الساحات وسنمضي في تحقيقها كامله غير منتقصه، وقعت المبادره ام لم توقع.”

Yemen: Unity Is the Key!

During the past week or so, I noticed separation talks were in the air once again in the south. Before I continue on, these are my thoughts on the separation, which many ask where I stand. Many people will judge me on this: others might understand, yet others might not respect my thoughts. Either or, I will write about it regardless.

In 1994, Yemen was united as one. There was no more South Yemen or North Yemen. Once united, southerners say that they weren’t treated equally (which is understandable) and northerners took advantage of the jobs, lands, etc. As the years pass by, the southerners weren’t happy with Ali Abdullah Saleh and the regime because they didn’t treat them right. The southerners did struggle throughout the years, which is why many are frustrated until now.

Once the Yemeni revolution started, millions have protested, in the north and south to topple the regime. All of them stood as one, with one message and goal. As the ninth month rolls in, the south enters a dead end. While thousands are protesting daily in the north, southerners, particularly in the city of Aden start protesting in large amounts every two or three days calling for separation.

I noticed that these protests were happening, at the wrong time. I strongly, believe that these protests should NOT be held at all until the regime falls at least. I, as a southerner am not for separation. I truly believe that unity is the key to all the problems we are going through as of now and in any future conflicts. Many may say, “Well, we went through a lot, so its our time to leave all these problems.” That was a statement I heard by a few people, which makes me furious at some respectable level. Southerners are under unity. We are under one rule, one constitution and one regime. We don’t have separate rule, constitution or regime.

Another point: Separation isn’t something simple.

Has anyone noticed that the reason why many people suffer till’ today (north and south) is because of one person: Ali Abdullah Saleh. Look through it, and think about it. Fully understand, why many people are frustrated and all this suffering is because of the Yemeni government. Saleh didn’t give a damn about southerners, but hey, right now he doesn’t care about his people as a whole.

Another point: Things like this take time. FOCUS on one thing only right now, that being united to topple the regime. Lets all have some logic people-you can’t have a revolution going and a separation group comes about, asking for a south Yemen, even before the regime topples. It doesn’t even make any sense and it won’t succeed. There is no more “We were, we had, we could have had” statements. We, right now should focus on whats going on now, and not look back on our past. Ill say it again, look at whats going on now- that should be the key during this revolution.

I recall a few protests to show respect to the south in Sanaa during this revolution. I remember youth saying, that the southerners will get their equality once Saleh leaves and a new government is appointed by the people of Yemen.

There are few to barely any protests in the south calling for Saleh to leave, from what I noticed. Why all of a sudden many just do nothing and sit and watch the protests in the North. I understand, many feel like theres no hope, but wasn’t it Saleh who created this problem? Wasn’t is Saleh who looked at the people in the south as weak people?

Honestly, I thought that the people in the south would be protesting in thousands every day when the revolution started. They are the ones who technically suffered the most by the regime!

Lets be fair! If someone wants separation, thats fine. I have nothing against it. BUT wait until we see what happens when Saleh leaves and a new government is appointed. See if they treat the southerners equally, if they do-great! Thats beautiful. If they don’t, then call for a separation. Thats being fair in my opinion. AGAIN, lets all think unity right now!

All I’m saying, as of now we should all be united. I’m one hundred percent sure, that the youth in Yemen are going to put this issue first, once the regime is toppled. We all want a new Yemen.

P.S: These are my thoughts, on this situation. You guys can express your views regardless if you agree or disagree. I respect everyones views, just as much I would love for you guys to respect mines.

#SupportYemen – Silence Kills!

Yemen has been facing a humanitarian crisis for the past 8 months. This protest is to condemn the world’s silence and the current media blackout towards Yemen’s peaceful revolution, its peoples struggles and peaceful plight to over throw a dictatorial regime.

The protests are scheduled to be at the same time and in different cities across the world, where there is large Yemeni communities. The event will also be held in cities in Yemen. It will be a silent protest. The plan for this protest will consist of protesters standing for two hours with tape over their mouths to symbolize the worlds silence and indifference in Yemen.

These people have been protesting for 8 months now. Two short hours can do so much and its up to us to try our hardest to break the silence. Support Yemen stand, in solidarity with its people. Your support IS important to us. It is a life-line for MILLIONS of Yemenis! The event will be held on Saturday, September 24th of 2011.

Time of the event will be at 12:00 PM – 2:00PM

The square and/or locations for each city will be posted here on this Facebook page for the event shortly!

LOCATIONS:

– For those who are in London, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: #SupportYemen – Silence Kills! (London)

– For those who are in Washington D.C, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: #SupportYemen – Silence Kills! (Washington DC)

– For those who are in Michigan, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: Silent Protest In Support of Yemen (Michigan)

– For those who are in Paris, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: #SupportYemen- Rassemblement – soutien pour le Yemen

– For those who are in Cairo, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: Support Yemen – Silence Kills! (وقفة صـامتة من أجل اليمن )

– For those who are in Berlin, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: #SupportYemen – Silence Kills! ساندوا اليمن, صمتكم يقتلنا !__Berlin__!

– For those who are in California, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: Support Yemen Rally (Urgent)

– For those who are in New York, an event page was created for the Silent Protest: Protest In Support of Yemen\’s Revolution | مظاهرة لدعم ثورة الشعب اليمني

– For those who are in Amman,  an event page was created for the Silent Protest: #SupportYemen – Silence Kills! Jordan وقفة صـامتة من أجل اليمن

Voices Echoing in Yemen

This video is such a powerful message. Do you hear the strength of their voices? Its only one message: The fall of the regime. For the past six months, their voices are not getting any weaker as people might expect, in fact, its only getting stronger. You might think after six months they would just call it quits? No. It’s the opposite.

As they sing the National Anthem, as always, they show much respect for the country. They treasure their land. For the past 33 years (marking 33 yrs on July 17), our country only faced  poor treatment from Saleh and the government. For 33 yrs, our country was only getting poorer, our country was only getting worser.

People might think, well he did do something within the 33yrs. I agree, he made a Masjid, concrete roads, a few tunnels and a school. But can you tell me, is this REALLY good enough for 33 years in power. Honestly? Might I say, when he made the Masjid, he kicked out the people on that specific area, took their lands and paid very little for them. Another note, he did fix the streets with concrete and made it look pretty and what not, but did you look at the thickness of the concrete? Take a look for yourselves.

Here is some background information on Yemen:

-GDP (Growth Domestic Product): 14.8 Billion Dollars

-Per Capita GDP: 820 Dollars

-Population: More than 26 million people

-Inflation: Up by 18% (Before uprising, imagine now?)

-One third suffer from Chronic hunger

-Status: Below poverty

-Almost half of the population of Yemen live on 2 Dollars a day or LESS

Lets just keep on mind:

-President Ali Abdullah Saleh obtained less than a elementary school education.


If Saleh did take care of his country and its people, with the money that he makes, Yemen would have been as high ranking as Dubai for instance-to that level. With the country having an exotic island called Socotra known for the rare animals and plants, tourism would have been sky rocketing. It would have been a dream destination for most of the world like they dream to go to Fiji for instance. But, sadly, Saleh didn’t care about it.

I think we all get the picture here, that our leader has failed to serve his country and people. Although, he says that he does care about his country, it doesn’t show. I am pretty sure that if a person cares so much about their country like he says, he would have done a better job.

The peaceful protests have been, in my opinion, sending a message to the world and to Yemenis living abroad. They fulfill their commitment when they say we are a ”peaceful movement.” Indeed, what they say is true. Never has their words failed.

Millions have spoken. Their voices echo through the streets, villages, towns, cities and mountains of every part of the country. Most importantly, they echo through our hearts.

My thoughts that run through my mind from time to time:

  • I want a leader that can actually lead his or her country to the better! Yes, I say ”her” because you never know! Our country was once leaded by a Queen. Don’t forget that!
  • I want this country to be known all around the world and most importantly, in the gulf for having the most enriched history.
  • I want the people in the Gulf to actually look at Yemenis as great people and not to look down upon us.
  • I want people to remember Yemen for their knowledge, wisdom and faith!
  • I want people to know that Yemen is the root and foundation of the Middle East. (Know your history!)
  • I plainly want people to respect Yemenis.
  • I want people to know that Yemen was the first and earliest exports of coffee.
  • Most importantly, I want people to see Yemen as a safe country.